Randolph, Green lead Grizzlies past Pelicans, 110-95
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Zach Randolph used his size and leverage to frustrate the New Orleans Pelicans in the paint. Jeff Green scored from all over the court.
Combine that with Mike Conley's calming presence in fourth quarter and veteran Vince Carter's knack for hitting big shots, and it can be too much for many opponents to withstand.
Randolph had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Conley's shooting and play-making fueled a dominant final seven minutes, and Memphis beat New Orleans 110-95 on Monday night, marking the Grizzlies' 10th victory in 12 games.
''We have a lot of guys really contributing to what we're doing,'' said Carter, who highlighted a 13-point performance with a pair of back-breaking 3s in the last three minutes. ''Guys are just playing hard and letting it all hang out for the good of the team.''
Green scored 24 points for Memphis, which closed the game on a 26-9 run to quickly turn a tight contest into a comfortable victory.
Anthony Davis and Norris Cole each scored 23 points for the Pelicans, who lost for just the third time in 10 games, with two of those losses coming against Memphis.
''They made big plays,'' Davis said. ''We missed shots we normally make.''
New Orleans led 86-84 after Ryan Anderson's free throw with 7:02 left. But the Grizzlies responded with a 10-0 run to take the lead for good, closing the game on a 26-9 run.
Memphis coach Dave Joerger credited Conley, who had 17 points and 10 assists, for giving his teammates a quick pep talk before their pivotal surge.
''We were at the time in the game where guys were getting a little frustrated,'' Conley recalled. ''I just wanted everybody to realize: `Hey, there's a lot of time left. We're going to get this thing figured out. Just calm down.'''
Conley started the surge with a 3 and two free throws. Carter followed with the first of his three 3s and Marc Gasol added a dunk on his way to 14 points.
Memphis finished 9 for 16 from 3-point range.
''If they're shooting it well from the perimeter, and with the inside game they have, they're a difficult team,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.
Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who hit a game-winning shot against Brooklyn on Saturday night, uncharacteristically struggled to find his shooting touch against Memphis. He made only one of 14 shots and also missed two of four free throws. New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson, who scored 22 or more points in his previous four games, had nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Memphis outscored New Orleans in the paint, 50-32, and a big reason for that was the burly Randolph, who caused havoc for New Orleans on both ends and got the best of the taller, quicker Davis several times.
''It never gets old to see him play the way he does. It's not pretty by any means, but he gets it done,'' Conley said of Randolph. ''The way that he can maneuver without being athletic and still get the shots over big fellas and all that stuff, he's a guy I look up to.''
Davis and Cole each reached 10 points in the opening quarter and the Pelicans opened a double-digit lead when Anderson's 3-pointer made it 34-22 early in the second quarter.
But the lead didn't last long. Green, who scored 10 of his points in the second period, helped the Grizzlies erase the deficit. His second 3 of the quarter gave the Grizzlies a 50-47 lead.
ABOVE THE RIM
One of Holiday's misses at least allowed Davis to create one of the more spectacular highlights of the night. The Pelicans' All-Star forward rose up for a twisting, one-handed put-back jam, making it 77-75 in the final seconds of the third period.
Grizzlies: Forward Matt Barnes was held out with what Joerger described as a mild right hamstring pull. The decision gives him five days' rest until Memphis' next game. ... The Grizzlies, who entered the game with a league-best turnover differential of minus-163, committed 14 turnovers to the Pelicans' 10.
Pelicans: Guard Tyreke Evans, the club's third-leading scorer (15.2 points per game) was held out for a third straight game with right knee tendinitis. Coach Alvin Gentry said Evans was capable of playing through the pain, but that it made more sense to let him rest at this point of the season. ... The Pelicans closed out a seven-game home stand at 5-2.
Grizzlies: At New York on Friday night.
Pelicans: At San Antonio on Wednesday night.